After a state law forced police officers off campus over a year ago, they are finally being allowed back into some of the most dangerous schools – but their guns must be kept locked away in a safe during the day.
Over two dozen police officers are being assigned to 30 of the Baltimore school district’s schools – which will equate to barely one officer per school.
WBALTV reported that the school administrators haven’t given a list of the exact schools, but they say it will be based on several factors, such as school size and criminal history.
“Schools that have a history of homicides, robbery, aggravated assault, and other types of serious crimes are going to be the schools that will be selected to have the unarmed police officer in the building,” said Clyde Boatright, with the school police union.
In summary, officers are being sent to the most dangerous environments where they are desperately needed, but their primary method of offering protection will be locked away in a safe, leaving them without a weapon.
Boatright said, “That’s problematic. That is an unrealistic expectation of safety by having just a warm body in a uniform.”
Acting school police chief Akil Hamm said, “We got to establish trust. We got to establish positive relationships with our young people, and when we do that, the kids will come and tell us when there is a problem.”
Parents interview seemed glad the officers were coming back – some were glad they wouldn’t be carrying guns, while others were just glad to have them back in the school, gun or not, according to WBALTV.
“I think that it’s good that they keep their weapons in a safe place, and I think it’s good they’re coming back without the weapons,” parent Khali Wilson said.
“I think them having the weapons or without the weapons is a good thing as long as they’re coming back to the schools,” parent Shana Coe said.
“The presence of the police in the school system is always good,” resident Kerisha Alvez-El said. “Even without a weapon.”
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